Monday night Civic Works agenda to discuss kids riding their bikes on city sidewalks
London Community News
By Sean Meyer/London Community News/Twitter: Newswriter22
Parents worried about their young children riding bicycles on London roads could soon get some sense of relief if a city committee accepts a new recommendation on Monday.
During their regular meeting on Monday (Sept. 10), members of the Civic Works Committee will discuss a staff recommendation to allow children under age 14 to ride their bicycles on city sidewalks. The report, which would also concern bicycles with a wheel diameter less than 61 centimetres, suggests the amendment will “encourage minor persons to cycle and to recognize cycling as a method of active transportation.”
At a public meeting on May 24, 2011, 14 people signed the sign-in sheet while comments were received from 17 people.
The report prepared for Civic Works summarizes the opinions expressed that night, including that all cyclists should be allowed on the sidewalk, while others worried about he safety issues this could cause for pedestrians. Others argued only small children should be allowed to ride on the sidewalks.
Representatives of the visually impaired community were particularly concerned about the safety impacts of too many cyclists on the sidewalk, but were open to having children ride on the sidewalk.
It was agreed motorized bicycles (e-bikes) “must be kept off the sidewalk.”
The report states age 14 made sense as the cut-off “because it is the age at which students are typically transitioning between elementary and high school, making it a logical time for them to also transition to riding on the street.”
The proposed bylaw does not limit the use of electric personal assistive mobility devices, allows only children riding small bicycles, encourages young people to cycle as part of an active lifestyle, does not allow any power-assisted bicycles on sidewalks and requires young cyclists to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.
The report also contains plans for a communication strategy around promoting the bylaw change with an estimated price tag between $5,000 and $10,000. The funding is available within the city’s capital program for bicycle infrastructure development.
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